for the adventurous! a tart bomb with notes of boozy gueuze, raspberry sorbet, and tamarind candy
washing station: kibingo
producers: 3,515 smallholder farmers working with greenco coffee
process: yeast inoculated (oro) dry natural
elevation: 1700-1900 masl
harvest: march - july
from sucafina:"Kibingo washing station is in the commune of Kayanza in northern Burundi. The station itself sits 1,893 meters above sea level. The altitude of the farms in the neighboring hills that supply the washing station varies from 1,700 to 1,900 meters above sea level. Kibingo serves 3,515 registered coffee growers, spread over 18 hills in the area. All producers registered at a Greenco washing station are organized in groups of 30 people, headed by a farm leader. This leader acts as a spokesman to facilitate communication and organization with the washing station. The washing station is equipped with 10 fermentation tanks, 2 soaking tanks and a drying field with 165 drying tables and 4 pre-drying tables. Kibingo can process 750,000 kg of cherry per day. At the washing station, farmers can obtain organic fertilizer from composted coffee pulp. To promote farm renovation, producers can get low-cost, subsidized coffee seedlings at the washing station. Each station has its own nursery for this purpose. The washing station participates in a number of farmer outreach and support projects including a livestock rearing project and a range of Farmer Hub projects centered on strengthening cooperatives and improving yields.
Most coffee trees in Burundi are Red Bourbon for reasons of quality. Because of the increasingly small size of coffee plantings, aging rootstock is a very big issue in Burundi. Many farmers have trees that are over 50 years old, but with small plots to farm, it is difficult to justify taking trees entirely out of production for the 3-4 years it will take new plantings to begin to yield. In order to encourage farmers to renovate their plantings, Greenco purchases seeds from the Institut des Sciences Agronomiques du Burundi (ISABU), establishes nurseries and sells the seedlings to farmers at or below cost.
Despite the ubiquity of coffee growing in Burundi, each smallholder producers a relatively small harvest. The average smallholder has approximately 250 trees, normally in their backyards. Each tree yields an average of 1.5 kilos of cherry so the average producer sells about 200-300 kilos of cherry annually. During the harvest season, all coffee is selectively hand-picked. Most families only have 200 to 250 trees, and harvesting is done almost entirely by the family.
For this coffee, cherry is placed in containers and Oro yeast purchased from the French company Lalcafe is added and left to ferment in this environment for approximately 36 hours. After fermentation, the cherry is carried to the drying tables, where they will dry slowly for 2-3 weeks, during which time it is repeatedly sorted and sifted to ensure even drying. The cherry is left to dry from sunrise to sunset and is covered with a sheet during the evening or when it rains. The moisture level is carefully monitored and any cherry with visual defects is removed. Next, the mass ferments in water for 96 hours and laid on raised beds to dry. Workers inspect drying cherry for defects and rake cherry frequently to ensure even drying. They cover cherry during the hottest part of the day and at night to prevent condensation. Once dry, coffee is then bagged and taken to the warehouse. Greenco’s team of expert cuppers assess every lot (which are separated by station, day and quality) at the lab. The traceability of the station, day and quality is maintained throughout the entire process."